Minister for Defence, Mr Simon Coveney, T.D, statement regarding offer to Representative Associations ahead of upcoming pay negotiations.
Both Defence Representative Associations have sought associate membership with Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) solely for the purpose of being involved in forthcoming pay negotiations. In the context of recent litigation, Minister Coveney is pleased to offer his conditional temporary consent to PDFORRA in this regard. The Ministers officials are engaging in discussion with RACO with a view to offering similar temporary consent.
Minister Coveney commented,
“The Government is aware of this longstanding desire of PDFORRA to associate with ICTU. I am also cognisant of the concerns of military management and I have taken legal advices on the issue.
The goal of the Representative Associations of associate membership of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU), is for the strict purpose of involvement in central pay negotiations. This has been stated to me by PDFORRA in particular, but also by RACO, on a number of occasions.”
The recent Report of the Commission on the Defence Forces also made recommendations in this regard. The Report notes the complex nature of this matter, as well as the requirement for a range of issues to be resolved before this could be facilitated by the Government.
Minister Coveney added:
“As I stated in the Dáíl the week before last, I undertook to respond to the Representative Associations, which I have done. As provided for in the Defence Acts, I am pleased therefore this week to have conveyed an offer of conditional temporary consent to PDFORRA to seek associate membership with ICTU solely for the purpose of the forthcoming pay negotiations and my officials are engaging in discussions with RACO.”
The Minister concluded:
“I note the complex nature of this issue, and there will be a requirement for a range of matters to be resolved for a longer term facilitation by Government to ensure that ultimately, the State’s ability to control and direct its Armed Forces remains absolute, and that any eventual solution in this regard retains that certainty.”